By Ben |

Weds, July 3

We took the train into downtown again to have breakfast with Nathan Menser, who is doing community relations for public works projects. He and his wife have two daughters age 13 and 16; the older one is looking at colleges, so she's about where Nathan and I were when we met! Nathan says the Supercomputer Honors Program did not affect his career path at all as it did mine, but the social connections helped him a lot.

Afterward we were passing a shop that had a 50% off sale on outdoor gear, so I wound up buying another pair of hiking boots to replace the lost ones. Then we went to Chinatown and found some great deals on souvenirs before taking the train back to our hotel.

We left town around noon and headed south on the same highway that runs past the hotel. I arranged the route so we drove down the coast and stopped at a couple of beaches. Between the two, Jessie hit a storm drain and popped a tire, so we spent the rest of the trip driving on the compact spare.

I mistakenly set the GPS to navigate us to Budderoo National Park instead of specifying the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre, so we went way up on top of a mountain before we realized our mistake, but we got some good photos up there, so it was worth the trip. It meant though that by the time we got to Minnamurra, the waterfall walk was closed for the day and we had to settle for the shorter Lyrebird walk. It was lovely and plenty long.

I had been in touch by email with April Sampson-Kelly at Permaculture Visions about visiting her 30-year-old site, Silk Farm, near Wollongong, but I hadn't put together that she had been the guest speaker at the meeting on Monday night! So we had already met, and she invited us to join her and her friend Samantha for dinner at a nearby pub after a quick tour of the farm. We had a very nice dinner and then drove back to Sydney. We got back to our hotel around 8:30.